9 Home Safety Tips To Survive The Holidays
By the time November and December roll around every year, we’re ready to slow down. The nights are longer. The temperatures fall. It’s a time to gather at home, celebrate with friends and family, and usher in another year.
Of course, there’s a lot of frenzied activities too. You coo more. You bake more. You snuggle up by the fire to watch your favorite movies.
But what about safety? Did you know more accidents happen in the home this time of year too? Almost half of all carbon monoxide exposures occur during the winter months, because of the increased time we spend indoors using various methods of home heating systems.
How can you prevent carbon monoxide poisoning from happening to you?
Your best starting point is to install a carbon monoxide detector in your home. They come in both battery operated and hardwired systems, and should be installed on every level of your home. Ensure they are installed at least five feet off the ground. You should also:
- Have your heating system checked at least once per year. A tune up includes checking the carbon monoxide levels to ensure your furnace is operating safely.
- Have all gas or coal burning appliances checked by a professional once per year. This includes stoves, water heaters, ranges, and dryers.
- Never use portable flameless chemical heaters indoors.
- Operate portable or standby generators safely. They should never be in your home, instead positioned properly outside and at least 20 feet from a window, door, or vent.
- Make sure all of your gas appliances are properly vented outdoors.
- After any snow storm, be sure to check vents to the outside of your home and ensure they are clear of buildup. Check vents for the dryer, furnace, fireplace or stove.
- If you need to warm your vehicle, remove it from the garage before starting it and letting it run. Do not run any fuel based engine indoors, even with garage doors open.
- Ensure the exhaust pipe of your vehicle is always open for ventilation. Keep a shovel in your car in case you get stuck and need to clear space around your exhaust pipe while waiting for help.
- Gas and charcoal grills also are at risk. When cooking with either of these appliances, be sure they are well vented outside of your home. That means no bringing in your portable grill into the garage on a cold winter day.
Carbon monoxide is considered the silent killer because it’s a tasteless, odorless, colorless gas. Hundreds of deaths and thousands of hospital visits occur each year because simple precautions aren’t taken to prevent potential problems. Don’t be one of the statistics.